A 20-year-old soldier stationed at Fort Carson was murdered more than three decades ago. On Friday, Colorado Springs police announced that a 58-year-old Thornton man has been arrested in the case.
The body of Darlene Krashoc was found early March 17, 1987, behind the Korean Club Restaurant, 2710 S. Academy Blvd., according to a news release.
On Thursday, Michael Whyte was arrested by members of the Violent Offender Fugitive Task Force, Colorado Springs cold case homicide investigators and Army Criminal Investigation Command members at his residence in the 1500 block of East 131st Place, police said. He was taken to the Adams County jail and held on suspicion of first-degree murder.
At the time of her murder, Krashoc was a assigned to the 73rd Maintenance Company. The night before her death, Krashoc went to a local club, Shuffles, 1861 S. Academy Blvd., with members of her unit, where they spent an evening drinking and dancing, the release stated. Krashoc left the club between midnight and 1 a.m.
Krashoc was strangled. Evidence indicated her body was moved to the rear of the restaurant from another area. "After thorough crime scene examination, collection of evidence and hundreds of interviews, the case went cold," the release stated.
Laboratory testing in 2004 and 2011 rekindled the case. An unknown DNA profile, genetically typed as male, was found on several pieces of evidence, police said.
In 2016, special agents from the Army CID, in concert with Colorado Springs police, submitted evidence to the CID Laboratory for additional DNA testing, which included new testing of previously submitted items. The analysis produced trait predictions for the suspect, police said.
On March 13, 2017, a composite image of the suspect was distributed by police and Army CID to the public, seeking tips from the public. Early this year, police and Army CID, through genetic genealogy DNA analysis identified Whyte as a suspect.
"Words cannot convey the satisfaction we are feeling from this arrest," said Maj. Gen. David Glaser, commanding general of the CID. "We sincerely hope that today's announcement in some small way brings comfort to the family and friends of Spc. Darlene Krashoc."
Police and army investigators worked diligently and tirelessly on the case.
"There is a lot to be proud of today," Police Chief Vince Niski said. "The work done by these detectives has been nothing short of exceptional. ... finding answers for Ms. Krashoc's family. We hope this arrest will provide those answers and some comfort."
This article is written by Kieran Nicholson from Denver Post and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.